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Post-Operative Instructions for Cats

  • Monitor your cat for any signs of abnormal recovery from anesthesia and surgery. Contact PetFix immediately if you notice any of the following:  bleeding, lethargy, weakness, unsteady gait, pale gum color, labored breathing, vomiting more than 2 times in an hour, diarrhea and/or straining.

  • Food and water:  Start with a small amount (⅛ cup) of food and water once home from surgery today. If this stays down for an hour, you may offer another small amount if the cat seems hungry. Do not allow your cat to “guzzle” unlimited water and/or food - this often leads to stomach upset and possible vomiting. You may gradually increase your cat’s food amount over the next few days. If your cat shows no interest in food or water the first night home from surgery, this is not cause for concern. If, however, he or she does not eat or drink anything the day following surgery, please contact us. (See reverse side for contact information)

  • Please keep your cat inside after surgery. Keeping your cat inside allows you to monitor their recovery more closely. Also, anesthesia interferes with your cat’s ability to regulate body temperature, so keeping the cat indoors will help prevent complications due to exposure to outdoor temperatures and unpredictable weather.

  • Vaccination site:  If your cat received any vaccines, we ask that you monitor the injection area for any signs of a reaction. Rabies vaccines are given in the right rear leg, FVRCP vaccines are given in the right shoulder muscle. Signs of a reaction can be any one of the following:  facial swelling, hives, limping, drooling (which can also be due to nausea) pain or swelling at the injection site, vomiting and diarrhea (which can also be due to stomach upset from anesthesia). If you notice any of these signs or if your pet appears extremely uncomfortable, please contact us immediately. (See reverse side for contact information)

  • What to expect the first night:  Your cat may or may not be a little groggy after surgery due to the lingering effect from the anesthesia. Please allow your cat to rest quietly and in a warm area. Be careful with your cat around other animals or small children. 

  • Monitor incision area:  It is important to monitor your cat’s incision closely - check it multiple times daily for the next 2 weeks. The outside of the incision is closed with surgical glue and may appear crusty or scabbed. The sutures are on the inside and begin to dissolve around 2 weeks after surgery. If your cat is active or allergic to the suture material, you may notice a lump(s) near the incision area. Monitor the area for any signs of infection (yellow or green discharge). Pictures of any concerns may be sent to or you may call us to schedule a free recheck for our veterinarian to examine the area of concern. 

The first night after your cat's surgery:

Over the Next 14 Days:

  • Pain Relief:  Cats are given an injection of Meloxicam for pain relief. The pain medicine will stay in your cat’s system for a few days. DO NOT GIVE YOUR CAT NON-PRESCRIBED OR HUMAN MEDICATION. Doing so can cause harm and could be fatal. Some possible side effects of the pain medication we provide can include vomiting and diarrhea. If you feel your cat is in pain or has any of the listed symptoms, please stop giving the medication and contact PetFix immediately. (See contact information below)

  • Restrict activity for the next 14 days:  Cats are known for running around and jumping. However, it is important to try and keep your cat calm by not encouraging active play for the next 2 weeks. If possible, you may want to try restricting them to one room in the house for a day or two, to allow time for the anesthesia to wear off.  

  • E-Collar:  If you would like to go home with an E-collar (cone), please ask for one when picking up your cat. Most cats recover fine without the use of an E-collar, but it does not hurt to have one just in case. If your cat starts to chew or constantly lick at the incision site, putting on an E-collar is strongly recommended. Outside cats should not wear an E-collar. 

  • Tattoo:  Female cats receive a small, green, superficial, permanent tattoo next to the incision. This is meant as an obvious, visual, indicator to veterinarians that your cat has been fixed and may prevent unnecessary surgery later in life. 

  • For any concerns or questions that you have during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9AM - 3PM), please call the PetFix clinic at 216-732-7040.

  • For post-operative medical concerns or questions after hours or on weekends, please call the after-hours advice line at 216-618-7233. At this number you will receive instructions in case of a possible post-operative emergency after hours. 

  • If your pet requires immediate emergency care or follow-up veterinary care, please contact a full-service veterinarian or emergency clinic. You will be responsible for paying the cost of that visit. 


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Ongoing Care:

  • PetFix strongly recommends that you have a regular veterinarian for your cat’s ongoing wellness and preventative care. Having a relationship with a full-service vet clinic is an important part of keeping your cat healthy and happy longer. 

  • The Rabies and FVRCP vaccines that we administer at PetFix are considered Core Vaccines that your cat should receive regardless of exposure to other cats.

Thank you for trusting us to care for your pet. If you had a good experience, please tell your friends.

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